DATE=10/6/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=SENATE-TEST BAN (L) NUMBER=2-254722 BYLINE=DAVID SWAN DATELINE=CAPITOL HILL CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: The Clinton administration is still pressing for ratification of the comprehensive test ban treaty or C-T-B-T - even though the Senate is likely to set the issue aside. Party leaders are negotiating a delay in the vote, which all sides agree would bring rejection for the treaty. V-O-A's David Swan reports. TEXT: For now at least, the White House is acting as though it expects the vote to proceed. Defense Secretary and former senator, William Cohen, argued the treaty's case before his old colleagues on the Armed Services Committee. Mr. Cohen tried to answer Republican charges the pact would weaken the country's nuclear stockpile and jeopardize national security. /// COHEN ACT /// If you believe, as I do, that we'll be safer in a world in which there are fewer nuclear weapons, then we have to ask how do we restrain other states from creating and building these nuclear arsenals? I believe the C-T-B-T is one answer. I think it provides an important tool to meet one of the most pressing national security challenges. /// END ACT /// But even as the hearing began, there were fresh calls to delay the showdown vote. Members of both parties acknowledge the test ban will fall far short of the two-thirds majority needed for ratification. Senator Arlen Specter, one of the few Republicans who favors the treaty, says it should be withdrawn, to avoid what he calls a calamitous defeat. /// SPECTER ACT /// At the present time around the world, many eyebrows are raised because (many people wonder why) the Senate has not ratified the treaty. But if the Senate were to reject the treaty then it would be highly publicized worldwide. It would be an open excuse for countries like India and Pakistan to continue nuclear testing. /// END ACT /// The White House makes clear it would accept a delay in the vote but is resisting Republican demands to put it off until the next administration. If no compromise is reached, the vote will take place sometime next week. (Signed) NEB/DS/JO 06-Oct-1999 11:34 AM EDT (06-Oct-1999 1534 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .